A KFC affiliate in Moscow has opened a futuristic location that uses a robotics, facial recognition and kiosks.
"This is a modern type of restaurant, which we opened as an incubator for ideas, innovation, technological idea," Dmitry Ageev, director for innovation information technologies, said in an interview with the Associated Press. "So, it is a kind of our experiment about how we see digital future, about how restaurants should work, and how they should interact with our customers, our guests."
This sizeable tech investment puts the KFC affiliate in elite standing. According to Hospitality Technology's 2020 Restaurant Technology Study conducted in December 2019, only 17% of restaurants surveyed planned to invest in interactive kiosks, taking a back seat to investments that prioritize online ordering and loyalty. Automation and facial recognition were among the lowest ranked, 5% and 2%, respectively.
Customers order and pay using a self-service kiosk. When a customer places their order, a camera collects their biometric data. Then, at the food collection point, the system reads the customer’s face and the order is delivered -- via a conveyor belt system and robotic arm -- to the designated pickup locker.
According to the report, the automated system only stores biometric data for the duration of the order, unless customers want to participate in a loyalty program, which will remember the customer’s biometric data and display special offers on future visits.